NIGERIA – PwC Nigeria has unveiled, TaxTim, South African fintech startup that helps individuals and sole-proprietors compute their tax and prepare their returns online.

With the changes in the tax environment, individuals, sole-traders and partnerships now have to pay more attention to tax matters, and ensure effective compliance including the prompt filing of their returns in line with the tax laws.

Founded in 2011 with seed funding from Google by Evan Robinson and Marc Sevitz, TaxTim allows users to file their tax returns online with step-by-step guidance through a chat-based platform, with virtual assistant TaxTim asking questions to accurately complete the return.

The digital tax assistant first expanded to Namibia back in 2015, and raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the newly formed innovation unit of South African financial services group MMI Holidays, Exponential, the next year.

It has now expanded to Nigeria through its partnership with PwC Nigeria, which is introducing a TaxTim-powered Digital Tax Assistant to allow its clients to correctly compute their taxes online and file their returns.

“This is a subscription-based, fully automated web application/chatbot. The logic is developed by tax professionals. Personal data is kept in a secure server with no third-party access. The application helps you prepare your personal tax computations and completes your tax returns.

By answering simple questions that do not require any tax knowledge, Tim will convert your answers into a fully completed tax return, which you can then submit to the relevant Internal Revenue Services. The entire process can be completed within 20 minutes,” Partner Tax Reporting & Strategy, PwC Nigeria, Kenneth Erikume said.

“The real value here is that with TaxTim, the process of paying taxes has become a lot simpler and more efficient”.

The solution comes at an important time as the deadline for filing tax returns under Section 44 of personal income tax act (PITA) is 31st March, the statement added.

“It is thus important that taxpayers realise that they have a civil obligation to compute and file their returns themselves, even if they are in paid employment, and TaxTim can assist them in this process.

“Already there are commercials by agencies like the Lagos Internal Revenue Services (LIRS) about this, with reminders on the penalties applicable to individuals who fail to do this by the due date.”

TaxTim is maintained by registered tax practitioners. Subscribers to the web-based solution will have access to the knowledge of these professionals and can complete and submit their tax returns to the authorities with confidence.